Outrunning the Thunderstorm – Encamp – Tarascon-sur-Ariege

Deja-vu today. Almost. After the slight change of plans yesterday and the very wrong weather forecast we gave our planned day trip another go, hoping the forecast was just as wrong as it had been yesterday.

But first I finally went onto a morning run. Alarm at 5:45am and off at 6:15am. After such an easy day yesterday and basically a week without any exercise I was itching. I just ran up the hill on a path by the side of the road. It was alright so early in the morning. I really love being out when most people are still asleep. Finally got a good look down onto Encamp.

Morning run view. Not too bad.

Breakfast at 8am. Yesterday a whole truckload of German hikers had arrived. Must’ve been like 16 or so. Looked just like the groups I’m guiding in Wales and England, haha. Now guess who was bang on 8am in the breakfast room? Ze Germans. That made for quite a queue at the coffee machine and buffet, so we waited until they had all settled down onto their long table, before we got coffees and toast.

Got the bikes out around 9am, it was mostly overcast with a few bits of sun here and there and a bit cooler. Only like 24C or so climbing up to 26C later. Having experienced 38C two days ago, this seemed very nice and cool.

Up once more to Pas de la Casa and down the other side, not taking the tunnel. No passport control this time… of course not, now that Rich had his with him. More twisties in France and a nice wooded valley with mountains towering left and right. In places it was really beautiful. Other bits were a bit dull. Especially after what we had seen a few days back.

It only took an hour and three quarters to Tarascon. It was getting warmer now as we hunted around for a coffee. There wasn’t much choice for us really, but we founda restaurant not far from were we parked the bikes. It was good to be out and about, but after all the epicness we’ve had, we didn’t quite feel it today.


Back towards Andorra with now darker clouds looming over the towering mountains. Made it over the pass and through the twisties and switchbacks, quick break for our bums and wrists on the other side.

Dark clouds promising trouble

Then back into Encamp for a brief stop by a supermarket to grab some lunch. Just as we paid, we heard rumbling thunder. Shit. Finally the forecast was right. We legged it to the bikes, jumped on at the the first heavy rain drops were drumming onto our helmets.

Five minutes back to the hotel for 2pm and just as we pushed the bikes into the garage it was raining heavy. Phew, that had been close.

Got rid of the wet clothes and enjoyed watching the rain munching cheese, salami and iberico ham with bread on our balcony watching the rain. Quite relaxing. Had a snooze as well and just chilled, then went for pizzas for dinner and back to the hotel.

Glad we went out on the bikes today and at least made the best of the weather. Tomorrow another early start to outrun more rain hopefully and off to Carcassonne. Really looking forward to it. It’s said to be a very nice place.

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